And like Keillor, Wallace displays an insider’s insight for this place and its customs.
Spiritually Midwestern
Josh Roiland

See, for example, his riff on the old Midwestern apothegm that a good corn crop should be “knee high by the Fourth of July.” Wallace modifies that marker to note the spectacular growth rate of Illinois corn, which, he says, “is now knee-high by about the 4th of May.” (There must have been a lot of anhydrous pumped into the soil that summer because Wallace pushed that date back even earlier from the magazine version where the corn, “with all the advances in fertilization, it’s now knee-high by June 1.”) See, also, the dubious, but nonetheless charming claim: “Midwesterners learn by like second grade that there’s so such word as hooves.” (No we don’t. And, yes there is.)

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